Virginia Tech Scholar Wins National Award for Excellence in Safety Engineering

Virginia Tech Scholar Wins National Award for Excellence in Safety EngineeringMyra Blanco, an advance-vehicle researcher and director of the Center for Public Policy Partnerships and Outreach at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, has been named as the recipient of the 2017 U.S. Government Award for Safety Engineering Excellence. She was nominated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Blanco was honored earlier this month in Detroit at the International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles.

In accepting the award, Dr. Blanco said, “as newer technology, such as automation, becomes more advanced, I look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Department of Transportation and other stakeholders to study driver-vehicle interactions and determine how that information can be used to optimize transportation and safety and inform public policy.”

Dr. Blanco is the principal investigator of four current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects. These involve in-depth evaluations of semi-automated-vehicle functions, heavy-vehicle crash warning interfaces, vehicle electronic systems safety, and vehicle-to-vehicle and driver-vehicle interface characteristics.

Dr. Blanco earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech.

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